Disconnected In New York City by Los Lobos
Los Lobos celebrate 40 years together with this live album, Disconnected, recorded at the City Winery in New York City in December 2012. I am only just beginning to appreciate this band; they last appeared briefly on my radar when they recorded ‘La Bamba’ in 1987. A former colleague here at Readings, Dave Hay, said that Los Lobos were one of his favourite bands and it got me thinking – they seem to have a loyal following and have stuck to their blend of Tex-Mex style, never shying from their East LA neighbourhood and Mexican heritage, and recording complete albums in their native tongue.
Remembering my friend’s recommendation, I played Los Lobos’s 2010 album, Tin Can Trust, in the shop recently. I was truly amazed at how the band sat in a groove like seasoned session musicians or famous house bands like Motown’s The Funk Brothers and the great Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section who played Aretha Franklin hits and Otis Redding recordings. I also realised Los Lobos have a keen interest in different styles of music. Guitarist and vocalist David Hidalgo and drummer Louie Pérez met in high school, connecting over a shared love of Fairport Convention and Randy Newman. The band would later record Richard Thompson’s ‘Down Where the Drunkards Roll’ for the Thompson tribute album Beat the Retreat in 1994, indicative of how other forms of music can inform your style, or even your discipline, without overtly overshadowing your own musical approach.
There is an intimacy and joyful sound to this live celebration – a great testament to the band’s legacy. My favorite tracks include ‘The Neighborhood’ and ‘Little Things’.
Michael Awosoga-Samuel is a bookseller and music specialist at Readings Carlton.